PP/GC/LE/109 Letter from Sir G.C.Lewis to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, regarding military requirements in India, the proposed India government bill, possible financial arrangements with the East India Company, and the state of the financial market, 2 January 1858
Letter from Sir George Cornewall Lewis, second Baronet, [Chancellor of the Exchequer], Harpton [Court, Radnorshire, Wales], to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: he encloses a letter sent to Robert V.Smith from Trevelyan [not present], concerning the state of Oudh and the need to keep it well supplied with troops. "I have found him very right from the first outbreak of the mutiny in his anticipations of events. Although he was one of the first to say that Delhi would not be retaken in a moment, yet he has never been desponding, and has continued confident of success at no distant period. His views about Oude are not therefore those of an alarmist, and are I suspect worthy of attention." The outline of the India bill prepared by Coulson is insufficient, not meeting many issues. The constitution and powers of the council must be defined. The present Board of Commissioners must be remodelled. The question of patronage must be dealt with in detail. "There must also be an enactment relative to treaties made by the Company with native princes. It ought to be declared that the obligations of those treaties are transferred to the Indian government but not to the Crown. They have never been ratified by the Crown, and provincial not national engagements. Some of these treaties may contain stipulations for the payment of pensions to dispossessed princes, by which the Crown ought not to be bound." The last quarter's revenue is satisfactory. The newspapers are complaining about the decrease in revenue; they forget that a decrease in revenue means a decrease in taxation. This is what they were crying for at this time the previous year. "I am inclined to think that instead of giving the Company a power of borrowing, unlimited in time, but limited in amount, it will be best to give it, unlimited in amount, but limited in time. A bill enabling them to borrow on debentures until the 30th April 1859 and the end of the next session of Parliament, would, I think, easily pass. (The 30th of April is the last day of the Indian financial year)." Funds are now as high as they have been since the [Crimean] war. Exchequer bills, which not many months previously were at a discount, are now at a premium. 2 Jan 1858
Two papers
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Sir Charles Trevelyan, assistant secretary to the Treasury
Robert Vernon Smith, President of the Board of Trade
Indian mutiny, 1857-8
Oudh, alias Oude, province of India
Walter Coulson, parliamentary counsel at the Home Office
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